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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Characteristics of suicide attempters with family history of suicide attempt: a retrospective chart review

Makiko Nakagawa1, Chiaki Kawanishi1*, Tomoki Yamada13, Yoko Iwamoto1, Ryoko Sato1, Hana Hasegawa1, Satoshi Morita4, Toshinari Odawara12 and Yoshio Hirayasu1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan

2 Psychiatric Center, Yokohama City University Medical Center, Yokohama, Japan

3 Advanced Critical Care Medical Center, Yokohama City University Medical Center, Yokohama, Japan

4 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Yokohama City University Medical Center, Yokohama, Japan

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BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:32  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-32

Published: 5 June 2009

Abstract

Background

Family history of suicide attempt is one of the risks of suicide. We aimed at exploring the characteristics of Japanese suicide attempters with and without a family history of suicide attempt.

Methods

Suicide attempters admitted to an urban emergency department from 2003 to 2008 were interviewed by two attending psychiatrists on items concerning family history of suicide attempt and other sociodemographic and clinical information. Subjects were divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of a family history of suicide attempt, and differences between the two groups were subsequently analyzed.

Results

Out of the 469 suicide attempters, 70 (14.9%) had a family history of suicide attempt. A significantly higher rate of suicide motive connected with family relations (odds ratio 2.21, confidence interval 1.18–4.17, p < .05) as well as a significantly higher rate of deliberate self-harm (odds ratio 2.51, confidence interval 1.38–4.57, p < .05) were observed in patients with a family history of suicide compared to those without such history. No significant differences were observed in other items investigated.

Conclusion

The present study has revealed the characteristics of suicide attempters with a family history of suicide attempt. Further understanding of the situation of such individuals is expected to lead to better treatment provision and outcomes, and family function might be a suitable focus in their treatment.